Vijayamma's letter to President Pranab Mukherjee

Dt: 9th October, 2013

Hon'ble President of India
Rashtrapati Bhavan
New Delhi.
Respected Pranab Kumar Mukherjee ji,

We are here to seek your intervention in the issue of the proposed bifurcation of Andhra pradesh as it was an arbitrary decision of the Centre and against the wish of over 60 % of the state's population.

As you are aware, our President, Sri Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy has undertaken an indefinite fast in the State capital demanding the same.

We wish to place the foilowing facts on the gross injustice rendered to us for your kind perusal and seek your intervention in this regard. The Union Government has arbitrarily decided at a Cabinet Meeting on october 3 to divide the state to create Telangana state with Hyderabad as its capital to help the ruling congress party garner a few MP seats in the Telangana region. Consequently, the union Government has appointed a GoM to somehow apportion various resources among Telangana and Andhra states instead of siudying the feasibility of the very division itself.

In a liberal democracy like ours, where rule of law prevails, the State's action has to necessarily conform to rationale, objectivity, consistency and transparency. As you are aware, no power vested in any public authority - be it the parliament or the Executive - is an absolute or unfettered power which gives scope for arbitrariness. Selectivity is a sworn enemy of Democracy. Article 3 of the constitution of India empowers.Parliament to create new states on the reference from the president. However, such a power can not be exercised against the very spirit of democracy.

It may be recalled that the Justice Fazal Ali commission' popularly known as states neorganization Gommission, came up to create linguistic states soon after Independence. Several smaller States too were caryed out because of their linguistic identity like Tripura, Mizoram and Nagaland' Whereas the States Reorganization Gommission recommended creation of States on Linguistic bas'is, for creation of the recent. three states viz Jharkhand, Ch-6attisgarh and Uttarakhand, th9 resolution of the state assemblies was taken as the basis for creation of states, although this is not the requirement as per Constitution during the NDA regime' 

The Congress Working Committee, at its meeting held on 30th October, 2000 considered the demands from various regions of the country for separate statehood in detail and decided to refer the matter to the Second States Reorganization Committee by passing the following resolution.

"While respec ting the report of the first Sfafes Reorganization Commission, the Congrress Party nofes that there are many valid reasons for formation or sep arate Sfafes in Vidarbha and Telangana. However, the Reorganization of existing Sfafes ratses a large number of ,ssues. The Cong-ress Party feels that the whole matter could be besf addressed Oy anitner Statei Reorg anization Commission to look into all fhe issues involved.

The AP Congress Manifesto 2OO4 reiterated the above stand. Subsequently, the UpA Government constituted Shri Pranab Mukherjee Committee to explore the possibility of achieving political consensus, which did not accomplish its objective. In the meanwhile on 4th March 2009, the Government of Andhra pridesh appointed Sri Rosaiah Committee to address the following 9 issues so that if satisfactory resolution to the said issues is found the formation of Telangana could be taken up- 

To identify the economic issues that propel Telangana sentiment and to examine the facts relating to employment, exploitation of. resources' etc. . 
To examine the concerns of minorities in the proposed Telangana set up. 
To examine the status of Hyderabad Metropolitan Area taking into consideration the migrant population . ' .
To examine the concerns of the migrant population in the rest of Telangana (excluding Hyderabad)'
To examine the issues relating to Maoist and Terroristactivities in the context of proposed Telangana set up.
To workout the modalities for sharing of river waters vis-ivis the existing situation.
lnfrastructure and seruice facilities at state capital - both state and central Governments relocation and consequential issues.
To examine issues pertaining to existing demands for separate states by other regions of the state.
To work out a strategy for the overall and harmonious development of all regions in the event of formation of Telangana State.

Unfortunately, the State Government did not undertake the study.

At an All party meeting on December 7, 2009 under the Chairmanship of Mr. Rosaiah, the then CM, the Congress itself did not spell its preference while the MlM, the CPM and Lok Satta opposed the division as against the BJP, the TDP -TRS and the CPI which support it. However, in a contrived move, the Centre read it as a consensus in favour of Telangana and on pecember 9, 2009 announced the process of formation of Telangana State.

Following a backlash of protests in Rayalaseema and coastal .Andhra the Union Government appoinied on February 3, 2010 a high powered committee .under the stewardship of Justice Srikrishna on the AP situation. The Committee, which studied the problem in depth for about 10 months, devoted 461 pages to compile its report only to conclude that the best recourse was to keep the State united.

The Justice Srikrishna Committee has opined that the State saw significant economic and social progress over three decades to place it among the front runners of progressive States in the country and added that the demand for separate Statehood was more of a political nature.

Keeping the report on the backburner, the Union Government began-the p_rocess of pofitical consultations for a fourth time on December 28,2013- Thereafter the Congress party without formally announcing its stand on Telangana, placed the balf in the CWC court on July 30, 2013.

It may be recalled here that if sentiment that be then there is a sentiment in Vidharba for separate statehood and the Maharashtra state has already passed a resolution. The UP State has passed resolution for creation of 3 new States.Struggles are being waged in Gorkhaland and Bodoland. The Government ignoiJO all these Uut goi into the Telangana business only to win a few Lok SlUna seats which can not be called a Constitutional ground for the division of any State.

There has been a spontaneous upsurge against this unilaterat and arbitrary decision in Seemaandhra region, with large number of people taking to streets against the injustice meted out to them by this decision. The ongoing agitation which is by and large apolitical and voluntary has paralyzed the entire administration in the region with employees, teachers, professionals like lawyers and doctors, farmers, students, women and children taking to the streets.

The main reason for this resentment is the timing of the decision and the autocratic manner in which it was taken without finding solutions to a large number of complex problems like the future of Hyderabad city, water andf revenue sharing or itre cost and time required to replicate a capital like Hyderabad elsewhere.
Unlike other state capitals, Hyderabad Metropolitan Development Area (HMDA) has emerged not oq!1as a political capital of Andhra Pradesh but also as an -6conomiC power house with all the Public Sector and Private sector manufacturing units along with civil and defence research laboratories being located in HMDA. Large number of industrial investments have come up in and around Hyderabad in the last 50 years only because it happened to be the capital of Andhra Pradesh as a whole.

For instance when the Central Government used the public sector as the main vehicle for the economic growth of the country till mid-1990s, 90% of these investments had come up in and round yderabad City, unlike in other States, where they were evenly spread out among all the regions. For example, the BHEL that was sanctioned to AP was located in Greater Hyderabad as against UP locating it in a remote place like Hardwar or Tamilnad, in Trichy.

Likewise, the Hindustan Antibiotic limited came up in Hyderabad while in Orissa located in a tribal area Koraput and in Maharashtra, in Nasik. Same is the case with HMT, BDL, IDPL, ECIL, BEL, Midhani, NFC, DMRL, HCL, DLRL, DRDL, CCMQ, llCT and DRDO. With the result, the entire ancillarization also taken place in and around Hyderabad.

More than 90% of the private sector investment that came to Hyderabad was from entrepreneurs from Andhra region known for their entrepreneurship and business acumen. Some of these private enterprises have grown global. For example, out of Rs. 55,000 crores of software turnover (domestic plus exports) from Andhra pradesh for the year 2012-13, Hyderabad city itself accounted for Rs, 54,800 crores. Andhra and Rayalaseema iegions have essentially remained as agrarian districts.

All the institutions of higher learning and health care are also located in this area. About 50% of the States own revenues are collected in HMDA area. This
was not the case, for instance, in the case of new States that were formed , viz', Jharkhand, Uttarakhand and Chattisgarh.

lf the division goes through, the Andhra state after division will optimistically get only Rs 40,000 cr and the Telangana state will get Rs 70,000 cr if the revenues of 2012-13 are apportioned on the basis of district wise accruals, while Andhra area comprises 60% of the geographical area and population of AP. There is no way these two will be able to implement the welfare schemes and also meet the expenditure on salaries or pensions.

More so, the residual AP Part.

In these days of disinvestment, can we expect the government to invest in major public sector undertakings in the residual AP region? With the removal of licensing law, how can Central Government direct the flow of private investments to any state?

How can Central Government ensure the 50% share of software business to Andhra state, particularly when the Central Government, adding insult to injury, recently decided to set up lTlR in HMDA area, where there already exists huge software activity? Without all these high profile economic activities and given the complete bankruptcy of the central Government how do we get money to run the new state? Will Andhra remain only an agrarian state forever?

As for the lrrigation scenario a peculiar situation prevails in Andhra Pradesh where several projects are conceived and executed on the basis of surplus waters. Mahbubnagar, Nalgonda and Khammam districts of Telangana region, Kadapa, Kurnool, Anantapuram and Chittoor districts of Rayalaseema -region, Praksam district of Andhra region are plagued by eternal drought and fluoride problems. To solve the problems of people of these areas Government of Andhra Pradesh started constructing huge projects on Krishna river like Bheema, Nettempadu, Kalwakurthy and SLBC in Telangana region, Telugu Ganga, Galeru -Nagari, Handri - Neeva in Rayalaseema region and Veligonda in Andhra region based on surplus waters of Krishna . Nearly 70 to 80% of the works of these projects were completed by spending around Rs.40,000 crores of public money.

The Bachawat Tribunal too allowed Andhra Pradesh to utilize flood waters because AP is a lower riparian state and suffers immensely when monsoon fails. lf a new state is created in between, all these projects will turn into monuments as they have no guaranteed allocation of water. 

As far as the Godavari River is concerned, unless Bhadrdchalam revenue division is restored back to East Godavari district, the Polavaram project can never become a reality.

The Centre is unable to resolve the Kaveri disputes where the water is assured and allocated on the one hand and how does it plan to resolve the above issues with regard to Andhra Pradesh.

The Telangana protagonists have been demanding a Telangana state that never existed as an exclusive political entity at any point of time in the history. It is to be understood that Andhra Pradesh was not the only State that was created on linguistic basis in 1956 along with three others in South India. Again, it is not just the Telangana region that was merged to create a separate State, several other provinces too were either merged or demerged to create new ltnguistic states as part of countrywide States Reorganization on linguistic basis. For instance, from the erstwhile princely state of Hyderabad, the Telangana region comprising 10 districts were merged with Andhra state to form Andhra Pradesh, while the Marathi speaking 6 districts of Maratwada were merged with Maharashtra and 3 Kannada speaking districts of Hyderabad state were merged with Karnataka state.

Thus, there is absolutely no truth in the argument that persons from Andhra region have forcibly got Telangana merged in the then newly created Andhra Pradesh. In fact, Andhra Pradesh as a State was created only after passing resolutions in the assemblies of Andhra State and Hyderabad State and cannot therefore be said to have been created against the will of the people of Telangana. The Srikrishna committee has clearly established that the Telangana region has indeed taken the lion's share of the incremental growth and development post formation of Andhra Pradesh in 1956. lf sentiment of Telangana for division has to be respected, the sentiment of other two regions for keeping'the state united has also to be respected.

The very Central government is sitting on a financial powder keg and will not be in a position to compensate the residual AP region after the creation of
Telangana State.

As far as the Revenues of the Central Government are concerned, the situation is very alarming. As per Union Finance Ministry's latest Monthly Economic Report , the Revenue receipts for April-July 2013 were only Rs 1.76 lakh crores, recording a meager growth rate of 4.3% against 23.1% for the corresponding
period last year. What a fall! This will definitely impact the flow of revenues from the Centre to States. What is even more shocking is, in absolute terms, the revenue deficit at Rs 2.77 lakh crores for April-July 2013 is more than the total Revenue Receipts of Rs 1.76 lakh crores for April-July 2013.

The only consideration that the Union Cabinet has shown to Andhra region is to allowit to have its state capital in Hyderabad for a ten years period' Who will
give the money to replicate Hyderabad city in Andhra region in just ten years? It is like forcibly vacating the owner of a house, which he had so laboriously
built for a period.of 60 years, and give him permission to stay in the house for ten years i.e. till he completes construction of new house, which is any way
impossible!! There is no money with Central Government to give to Andhra state to construct the new capital. There will be no money with Andhra state to
meet its non-plan expenditure, let alone creating a capital and other infrastructure, which it took 60 years in Hyderabad to'create.

God knows as to why the UPA Governrnent is so annoyed with Andhra region! ls it because they returned 22 Congress MPs out of the total strength oI 25
MPs in 2009?

The division of Andhra Pradesh after 57 years of its creation, particularly when people of Andhra and Rayalaseema regions are tooth and nail opposed to such division, is therefore fraught with serious political consequences not only within AP but also for the whole country. AP is among the fastest developing states in the country having third highest GDP in current terms, next only to UP and Maharashtra. All the three regions have registered good growth.

If sentiment is the reason alone for bifurcation, then we will be ending up creating more States than we united in 1947 to put in place our democratic lndia. ln a recent Presidential reference under Article 143 of the Constitution of India regarding the alienation of natural resources, the Supreme Court clearly said that as long as there is a policy in place, they will not interfere. On the other hand, if the Government is following the policy of pick and choose, they would definitely interfere. It therefore follows that even in respect of creation of new states, the Central Government should come up with a policy and conform to that. Otherwise, the Supreme Court has every right to intervene in any decision that the Central Government may take in respect of creation of new states.

In the light of these facts, we earnestly request you to intervene and do justice to Andhra Pradesh.

Yours faithfully

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